FARMERS MARKET SHOPPING
As of next week I am going to start a weekly farmers market recipe post from my local farmers markets. I am in the Northern Rivers NSW so it may not be applicable to where you are but it’ll be a crackin’ read anyway. So keep your face peeled….
Farmers market is not a dirty word. Or words.
Farmers markets are a great way to shop. You support your local community, low food miles (the distance it travels to get to you, if you couldn’t work that one out for yourself), artisan producers and quite often free-range and organic produce.
It is also not uncommon to see unsual or uncommon items… or it’s quite common to see uncommon items… duck sausages, okra, three legged chickens, water spinach, banana blossom, dutch cream potatoes, goats cheese and hobbit-like dwarves selling Fleetwood Mac tickets are all available at my local farmers market at the moment. Not really sure what the hobbit people are all about, though. And they always seem to have fantastic bread, fruit and vegetables, pork, seafood and some other shite.
Get in there and give it a go. I’ll be the guy pushing into the queue behind you. Say hi.
So, a little etiquette for shopping at a farmers market.
- Take cash. Most market stalls will not have eftpos. The are farmers ok? They find it hard enough to scrape a livelihood together without having to buy a wireless eftpos machine.
- Don’t look for shopping trollies. There are none. You couldn’t push it around the grass or dodgy carpark someone kindly donated to hold this thing on. Bring your own bag to pile full of goodies. You got something knitted from dessert camel’s fur bring it. The hippier the better.
- If a sausage is an odd shape, or a loaf of bread a little crusty, it is not actually odd or crusty. It’s artisan. That’s the thing with small producers – they don’t have a massive production line, or feed lots etc, so it can be a little harder to get a consistant product. And it can be a hard thing to come to terms with, especially as a chef. But if the product is good….
- The best before date is usually a bit shorter because of the lack of preservatives, and the bacon and ham make look a little greyer then you’re used to, but that’s because it doesn’t have any sodium nitrate* in it. These are all good things, by the way.
- PS. They don’t have big glossy sales.
- PPS. You don’t get flybys or everyday rewards either.
*sodium nitrate. Apparently used to prevent botulism but is very bad for you. But so is botulism.